Fresh out of undergrad, I had the opportunity to teach math to children in Samoa as a Peace Corps volunteer. While growing up, I had been instilled with a passion for social change by my father, a prominent pastor and nonprofit leader in the Washington, D.C., area. The Peace Corps was a natural next step for me, opening my eyes to new cultures and ways of empowering change.
On entering the Peace Corps, I’d aimed to pursue a career in education or the ministry. But after I returned to the States and taught for a few years, my love of numbers and interest in the business world drew me to Wharton. I had always had a knack for calculations and had previously studied physics and theology at Tulane. At Wharton, I realized that while I knew math, I didn’t know how to apply it in so many ways — from finance to operations management to game theory. My MBA experience proved crucial for learning foundational analytical skills that have since served me well in my career. Equally important are the close-knit connections I built thanks to the deeply interpersonal environment at Wharton.
I’ve spent most of my career since at Capital Group, an investment firm where I’ve been an analyst, a research director, and now an equity portfolio manager, always focused on the emerging markets. I’m a staunch believer that those who have done well for themselves have an obligation to give back. Beyond helping me professionally, my Wharton education has proven useful on boards for groups such as the National Peace Corps Association and For Love of Children, the support and advocacy organization my father led for 37 years.
Another way I’m paying it forward is through the new Taylor Family MBA Fellowship at Wharton, which will be awarded to students who have volunteered in the Peace Corps or have similar public-service backgrounds. Many people enter the Peace Corps for altruistic reasons and afterward want to further apply the skills they’ve gained. This fellowship is an avenue to achieve this by way of the Wharton community.
It’s no secret that Wall Street has benefited greatly from the skill of the School’s graduates. While the world of public service is increasingly benefiting today, there’s more we can do to bring Wharton fundamentals to groups outside of business — from schools to nonprofits to government agencies. The Taylor Family MBA Fellowship is just one way we can move that needle further.
Published as “A Global Citizen Gives Back” in the Spring/Summer 2022 issue of Wharton Magazine.